Reusable to-go mugs have been around for ages, most of them oversized and crafted from flimsy plastic or steel, in Thermos form.Many of us have one (or several) lingering somewhere in our kitchen cabinets, a freebie emblazoned with an organization’s logo (probably similar to the Queens Library to-go mug congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was recently photographed carrying).
Using our AD @keepcup earns double the loyalty points!! ♻️ A post shared by ALL DAY (@alldaymia) on Bluestone Lane’s corporate efforts align with policy ones. has also seen policy movement, including a debate last summer over a “latte levy” tax on single-use paper coffee cups; when it failed to pass, Starbucks instituted its own levy at its U. She decided to promote the cafe’s already-existing 10 percent BYOC discount on social media.
In 2018, an Australian parliamentary committee recommended a ban on various single-use items, including coffee cups. She also posted “green” updates on Instagram, including the growing numbers of cups saved and pictures of customers holding their branded mugs and Keep Cups.
When Kerry Diamond took over full ownership of Brooklyn coffee shop Smith Canteen in April 2018, she realized she had to do something about the shop’s paper and plastic consumption, much of it due to single-use products.
“It dawned on me how much, as a small coffee shop, we were contributing to the waste stream,” she said.
Cup-share programs are popping up, like Boulder’s Vessel, a network of cafes with cups customers can borrow and later return.
Local coffee shops and chains alike are offering discounts for customers who bring their own cups, aka BYOC (though skeptics say that a 10-cent discount at Starbucks isn’t enough to create real momentum around mug-hauling).
Joco cups, also from Australia, with a similar look to Keep Cups, can be found in coffee shops scattered across the States.
Toby’s Estate in New York, Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Oakland-born Blue Bottle Coffee, and Go Get Em Tiger in LA sell logo’ed Miir Mugs, an insulated “camp-style” mug.
But such so-called travel mugs, with their big size and lack of aesthetic appeal (and the slightly lingering aftertastes they impart), haven’t become habit for most.
When it comes to America’s coffee-drinking culture, paper has persisted. Styrofoam is now universally regarded as damaging and is subject to bans, many people have become less hooked on plastic bags, and 2018 saw the rise of plastic straw bans (and the advent of trendy reusable straws).